Mayor Usha Reddi, left, stands with her mother during a June 2016 city commission meeting. (file photo)

A racially-motivated shooting at an Olathe bar last week hit close to home for many Kansans, but Manhattan Mayor Usha Reddi has used her own experiences to offer a message of condolences and hope to the Manhattan community. Reddi penned an editorial for her constituents and spoke with KMAN on Monday afternoon to clarify her thoughts and experiences. Her written statement reads:

Dear Manhattan Family,

Much has happened in the past few days. The devastating and horrific shootings in Olathe have given us reason to pause and reflect.

Manhattan is a diverse, welcoming and safe community; however, our sense of security is shaken by such acts of violence. Manhattan is a wonderful city with extraordinary people that work hard to make it a great place to live.

I promise to do whatever I can to relieve anxiety, discomfort or pain that our friends and family are experiencing. Please reach out to one another for emotional and mental support. We must strive to be free of hatred and embrace our blessings.

You are in good hands in Manhattan. We are an extended family.

– Usha

The mayor immigrated to the U.S. from India as an 8-year-old girl, and has lived in Manhattan for more than 20 years. Following the shooting at Austins Bar and Grill, Reddi said her family abroad made contact with her.

“I just think this speaks to the international population,”  Reddi told KMAN. “With social media and technology being as it is, my grandmother in India already knows about it. Though I didn’t think about calling them at all, they felt the need to touch base with me.”
Reddi has since shaken off he initial concern following the shooting, and said she has since eased her family’s concerns. While the political climate across the country may be volatile, Reddi said she recognizes the large amount of immigrants in Manhattan and said her family has never been treated as anything less than “extended family.”
Reddi said she refuses to generalize any population or group of people based off isolated incidents, and as a wife and mother, said her family has never been made to feel anything less than at home in the community she represents.
“Manhattan is a good place to live,” she said. “It is a good community.”
Reddi said there are plenty of services available to anyone who may have discomfort or anxiety.

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Source: KMAN Local News